News

NBC Joins Family Forum

3/29/2001 4:51 AM Eastern

During the Association of National Advertisers' annual Television Forum
Thursday morning, the co-chairs of the Family Friendly Programming Forum, Andrea
Alstrup and Robert Wehling, announced that NBC has become the latest major
broadcast network to join its search for appropriate family-appeal scripts.

CBS and ABC came aboard last year, while The WB Television Network has been
in from the outset.

The WB is currently considering nine scripts for the new season, said
Alstrup, who is also vice president of advertising services for Johnson &
Johnson. ABC is mulling 'at least one,' she said, adding that she had not yet
heard from CBS.

All told, 42 marketers belong to the forum, 15 of which contribute to its
script-development fund.

Neither Alstrup nor Wehling made mention of the recent efforts by two cable
programmers -- Fox Family Channel and Odyssey Network -- to become involved in
the advertisers' coalition. But Wehling did point out, 'We decided early on that
we had to focus [on] the early evening hours on the major broadcast networks.'
The forum might widen its focus in five years, he added.

Given the prevalence of multiset viewing in households today, Alstrup
conceded, 'We're never going to go back to the way things were' in the past,
when families gathered around the TV set on a regular basis.

But Wehling observed that it's still possible. He cited NBC's The Cosby
Show
in the 1980s and, currently, ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire
and CBS' Survivor, as having multigenerational appeal.

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